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Foreword – US Neurology, 2011;7(1):8-8

Published Online: July 29th 2011
Authors: Cheryl Waters
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Overview

Welcome to the latest edition of US Neurology where, once again, a wide range of topics is reviewed. As always, the articles have been chosen because of their relevance to our neurology community, to clinical practice, and to our constantly evolving field of research. From Parkinson’s disease (PD) to epilepsy, multiple sclerosis to neuroimaging, neurology is a wide-ranging and dynamic specialty and the articles in this edition reflect this.

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The edition opens with a very interesting article on the clinical and ethical issues we face when dealing with palliative care and dementia. The neurodegenerative section then continues with a subsection on PD, the second most common neurodegenerative disease. PD is a progressive degenerative disorder that has been the subject of much discussion recently. As covered in these first two articles, we are learning that the pre-motor phase of PD can predate the motor features by years or decades. Understanding this clinical phase may give us further ammunition in approaching neuroprotective strategies. A pair of articles by Claire Henchcliffe and colleagues focuses on this vital early stage of PD. The first article looks at diagnosis during the pre-motor phase and the second goes on to explore the treatment options for the early motor phase, and includes discussion of the interesting possibility of treatment during the pre-motor phase. The PD section concludes with an insightful examination of the role neuroimaging plays in monitoring disease progression, by Jon Stoessl and Pankaj Agarwal.

The focus then shifts to brain trauma and stroke, where these very diverse topics are subject to expert scrutiny, highlighting further the broad scope within our discipline. In the first of the three articles in this section, Lawrence Chin, Gentian Toshkezi, and Robert Cantu examine chronic traumatic encephalopathy related to sports injury. Sports-related injury is of increasing interest for neurologists and the public and accounts for 10 % of head and spinal cord injuries. This section includes stroke—still the third leading cause of death in the US and the single largest cause of adult disability. The first of the two stroke articles focuses on the latest advances and new applications for interventional neurology, an ever-growing sub-specialty within our field, and the second article provides an overview of the current guidelines for stroke rehabilitation—a vital subject, affecting the future of so many of our patients.

Three very diverse topics are then covered in quick succession; the first to be examined is the role of interferon beta-1b in multiple sclerosis. Second is a review of the diagnosis of autonomic nervous system disorders, which helps so many of us who deal with this issue in our patients with chronic illnesses. Finally, a discussion of the relationship between epilepsy and sleep disorders allows us to appreciate that sleep is central to the wellbeing of our neurologically impaired population. The edition concludes with a surgery and imaging section that features two insightful articles that examine different aspects of this important field. The first article discusses intraoperative mapping and monitoring of the motor cortex and the final article explores constructive interference in steady state imaging in the central nervous system.

As ever, the broad range of topics means there is much of interest for every reader and we hope you will find this edition as useful and insightful as those before it. US Neurology would like to thank everyone who participated on this edition, from organizations to individuals. We would especially like to thank the Editorial Board for their continuing invaluable guidance, and the biggest thanks goes to the expert authors for spending precious time and effort on such an interesting selection of articles.

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